Finding Time to Write

Finding Time to Write

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The question I get asked most often, hands down, is how do you find time to write?

I think someone once said we have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé. And that’s true. She has the same hours we do. So how do you make time for writing when you have a full-time job, family, and other obligations?

Get up an hour earlier. This works. Do your writing before you do anything else. This is what currently works for me.

Break up a longer project into chunks. I used to write 1,000 words a day but find I can’t do that all the time. Still, I break up writing into smaller bits. For example, I tell myself I’m going to spend 2 weeks outlining (30 minutes a day). Or, I’m going to edit a picture book manuscript this week. Or, this week I’m going to chip away at a new novel knowing that it may take me 4-6 months to complete a draft.

Stay up an hour later, or write instead of watch Netflix. This was something I did earlier in my career. I would write instead of consume other media at night. Sometimes I wrote at 10 or 11 p.m.

Carve out time on the weekends. The weekend can quickly fill up with social gatherings, chores, and other errands. But if writing is important to you try to find an hour early Saturday or Sunday morning to work on your craft.

Always be prepared to take notes. I usually think of a way to fix a plot problem at weird times which is why I always have a writing instrument handy. I keep a notebook by the bed, pens in my purse, and take notes in my phone if I have to. The back of grocery receipts work well, too.

What time management strategies have worked for you when it comes to writing? Share your tips in the comments.

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Elvis, Apple, and My Book

Elvis, Apple, and My Book

Elvis blog post

Apple released a cute commercial recently about a group FaceTime featuring Elvis impersonators that you can watch here.

I’ve always been fascinated with Elvis and Elvis impersonators which is why one of the main characters in my YA novel One Night is Johnny, Hawaii’s Favorite Elvis Impersonator. If the Apple commercial speaks to you in any way consider checking out my novel. Here’s a full description:

Breakups are the worst.

Thompson is miserable.

Can he get Caroline back?

With his mind on HER, his life takes an unexpected turn. Elvis gives him a job. He knows nothing about the world of celebrity impersonators, but he does know social media.

And so starts his adventure…where will it take him?

Will he find his true love?

If you liked John Green’s Paper Towns or The Way Way Back, you’ll love this contemporary YA novel. Go here to order.

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One Try release day celebration!

One Try release day celebration!

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Happy to say that One Try is out today!

For fans of Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, ONE TRY is a charming Christmas novella set against a gorgeous Hawaiian backdrop.

When Thompson is home for winter break he finds out the Tiki House, the local hangout he loves to hate, is in financial trouble. Determined not to let one of his favorite places close, he and his friend Johnny concoct a plan to save it.

Thompson’s ex-girlfriend is home for Christmas, too…And she wants to help.

What happens when the two get together to try and save their favorite Honolulu dive?

Part romance, part comedy, ONE TRY is about going for it–in life, love, and everything you do. It appeals to fans of Hallmark Christmas movies and novels by Debbie Macomber.

Though ONE TRY is technically the third part of the Thompson Lake series it can be read as a standalone YA romance novella.

Links to order ONE TRY:

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2Ot6qZL

Apple – https://apple.co/2E1BJa3

B&N – https://bit.ly/2CpxeVn

Kobo – https://bit.ly/2yf8GK0

P.S. If you’d like to share the links on social, I’ve created a cute graphic below!

wreath social 2 one try

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Pre-order One Try

Pre-order One Try

Happy to announce that One Try, the third part of my Thompson Lake series, is now available for pre-order. Need to catch up? Go here to order One Night, book one. Go here to order One Love, book 2. If you pre-order One Try now you can get the special pre-order price of 99 cents. After release week the price will go up to $3.99.

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Here’s a quick summary of One Try:

For fans of Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, ONE TRY is a charming Christmas novella set against a gorgeous Hawaiian backdrop.

When Thompson is home for winter break he finds out the Tiki House, the local hangout he loves to hate, is in financial trouble. Determined not to let one of his favorite places close, he and his friend Johnny concoct a plan to save it.

Thompson’s ex-girlfriend is home for Christmas, too…And she wants to help.

What happens when the two get together to try and save their favorite Honolulu dive?

Get it now at Amazon. Go here for other retailers.

To add One Try on Goodreads visit this link.

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How to Avoid Burnout as a Writer Part II

How to Avoid Burnout as a Writer Part II

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The first installment of my burnout series was so popular I decided to write a second. As mentioned before, here is my disclaimer that I am not a doctor, psychologist, or otherwise professionally certified to give advice. I’m just a regular person sharing tips on what has worked for me in my writing life.

My additional tips to avoid burnout:

Stop comparing yourself to others – in terms of writing, work, and other aspects of life. There is always going to be a twenty year-old who gets a book deal in one week. There will always be interns who are promoted after two months on the job where it might take four years before anyone recognizes your greatness. Only comparing you to you will help you stay sane.

Related to that, spend even less time on social media. Nothing encourages comparison-itis like having a newsfeed of every great thing that’s happening to everyone you know. Remind yourself that awesome updates are just a small part of someone’s life that they’re blasting out to the world. Everyone has problems, even people who come off as perfect.

Make eating healthy a priority. I love a good pizza as much as the next person, however (as much as I hate to admit it to myself) I feel so much better when I eat lean proteins, veggies, and fruit. I’m less tired and have more energy to focus on the things I care about, i.e. writing.

Make to do lists fun. Having so many things to do–writing, work, chores, family obligations–all the time can be overwhelming. My husband found these slightly inappropriate notepads that make crossing off tasks fun. Chores, projects, work, and all the things will always be there; might as well make it a little more enjoyable.

Over to you. Any tips to share that help you avoid burnout?

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Why You Should Edit Your Novel Backwards Plus Other Possibly Insane Yet Effective Editing Tricks

Why You Should Edit Your Novel Backwards Plus Other Possibly Insane Yet Effective Editing Tricks

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I recently finished a major revision of a novel I’ve been working on since 2015. You read that right. I’ve spent almost three years with this novel, in which I’ve gone to hell and back. And trust me when I say that is not an exaggeration. I used several editing strategies with this novel that I’ve never used before and I’m convinced it has made me a better writer and editor. After 10 years of writing and working on multiple manuscripts here is my best editing advice:

Revise the manuscript backwards. Meaning, if you have thirty chapters in your book start editing Chapter 30 first, then Chapter 29, and on down. I don’t know why I’d never tried this before, but it is my new favorite technique. You see things going backwards that you don’t see when editing in a linear fashion.

Color code the thing if need be. Again, this is something I’d never tried before. My writing mentor said there wasn’t enough body language in my book. So what did I do? I printed the thing out and highlighted all the body language in orange. If there was no orange on a page or the color didn’t appear for several pages I looked at where I could add body language in. This was painful–VERY painful–but man did it work!

Map out chapters in Excel. Chapter length wasn’t something I took a serious look at before. I tracked the length of chapters in Excel as well as charted characters’ feelings to make sure they were changing. If there were too many or too few pages between chapters I looked at where an alternate break could be made.

What about you? What unique editing techniques have you tried? Share in the comments.

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P.S. I also wanted to share that I have an agent 🙂 I’ll write a longer blog post about how I did it, but I’m happy to say I’m now represented by Penny Moore of Aevitas Creative Management.

One Night is on sale for 99 cents

One Night is on sale for 99 cents

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Hey all! One Night is only 99 cents today!

Here are the links to order:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2AAxbjZ

iBooks – https://apple.co/2Iy77hH

Kobo – https://bit.ly/2ITzA29

B&N – https://bit.ly/2LGsQCw

Also, as a bonus One Love, the second book in the series, is on sale for $1.99 🙂 Go here to order.

Happy reading!

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One Night & One Love back on all retailers

One Night & One Love back on all retailers

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I’m happy to say that you can now purchase One Night and One Love at all retailers again!

For a brief period they were available exclusively on Amazon but are now available here as well:

Kobo

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Happy reading!

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What Can a Writing Mentorship Teach You?

What Can a Writing Mentorship Teach You?

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I’m excited to guest post for YA Interrobang today! I talk about what I learned from my Writing in the Margins mentorship. Go here to check it out.

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